If you are reading this, chances are that you recently learned about a potential eminent domain action that could affect your property or you were already contacted by someone representing a state agency or company that wants to buy your land. You probably have realized that eminent domain is an extremely complicated area of law and recognize that you need an attorney to explain exactly what is happening and potentially represent you—and you are worried about the cost. After all, the very idea that the government can force you off of your property seems contrary to what most of us understand about property rights. Before accepting an offer on your property, however, protect yourself legally.
So how much does hiring an eminent domain attorney cost? As is often the case in matters related to the law, the answer is, “It depends.” First of all, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to challenge the actual eminent domain action itself, the legal fees you incur will depend on the complexity of your case. These kinds of cases are generally billed on an hourly basis, because there is no financial recovery at the end of the case, but rather a favorable decision regarding the application of the law—that is, you can keep your property.
On the other hand, if you retain an attorney to help you maximize the amount of money you receive for your property, you will pay a percentage of the compensation you receive for legal representation. Typically, you will pay your lawyer a percentage of the amount recovered in excess of the initial offer made on the property.
Courts usually uphold the government’s use of eminent domain, so the purpose of retaining an attorney is typically not to challenge the exercise of the power itself, but rather to obtain as much compensation as possible for the property. The United States Constitution requires the payment of “just compensation” to landowners whose land the government takes pursuant to eminent domain authority. Not surprisingly, landowners and the government (or a private party authorized to use eminent domain) often disagree about what amount of money constitutes just compensation. Fortunately, a lawyer familiar with eminent domain law can ensure that you get what you deserve for your property.
If you are currently in negotiations regarding the market value of your property or believe that the government will soon subject your property a condemnation proceeding, you should retain an experienced eminent domain lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney familiar with eminent domain law can ensure that you receive just compensation for your property and may even challenge the basis of the action in its entirety. We have offices in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky, and we serve clients facing eminent domain actions of all kinds throughout the United States. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, call Sever Storey today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761